Individuals engage in status self-enhancement when they form an overly positive perception of their status in a group. We argue that status self-enhancement incurs social costs and, therefore, most individuals perceive their status accurately. In contrast, theories of positive illusions suggest status self-enhancement is beneficial for the individual and that most individuals overestimate their status. We found supportive evidence for our hypotheses in a social relations analysis of laboratory groups, an experiment that manipulated status self-enhancement, and a study of real-world groups. Individuals who engaged in status self-enhancement were liked less by others and paid less for their work. Moreover, individuals tended to perceive their status highly accurately. Mediation analyses showed that status self-enhancers were socially punished because they were seen as disruptive to group processes.
Anderson, Cameron, Daniel Ames, and Samuel Gosling. "Punishing Hubris: The Perils of Status Self-Enhancement in Teams and Organizations." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 34 (2008): 90-101.
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